US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper released a statement claiming that China is manufacturing and selling weaponized drones to the Middle East, while it prepares to export its next generation stealth UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles]. Chinese weapons manufacturers are also selling drones advertised as capable of full autonomy, including the capability of conducting lethal targeted strikes. Read more for a video and additional information.
Drones are already changing the commerce as well as food delivery industries, and soon, we could be seeing them in the world of luxury. How so? Well, a Netherlands-based Dutch insurance company has managed to create a hammock drone of sorts. Simply put, the idea consists of a regulars-sized hammock that not only can move, but can float just about anywhere, thanks to industrial-sized drones. Read more for the video if you missed it the first time around.
UPS’s Flight Forward drones have now flown prescription medications to the front lawn of a private home and to a retirement center, marking the company’s first revenue-generating deliveries for drugstore chain CVS. The maiden delivery flight was completed on Friday in Cary, North Carolina, and the second drone flight delivered medications to a public space at a retirement community. These shoe box-sized packages were lowered from drones hovering at an altitude of about 20 feet. Read more for two videos and additional information.
DJI’s Mavic Mini weighs a svelte 0.55-pounds, making it just small enough to not require FAA registration requirement, but in terms of features, it’s definitely no slouch. Offering a 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor capable of recording 2.7K video at 30fps / 1080p video at 60fps, mounted on a 3-axis motorized gimbal, while its removable Lithium Ion battery is good for 30 minutes of flight time on a single charge. Product page. Read more for two videos and additional information.
DJI’s yet to be announced Mavic Mini drone fits in the palm of your hand, and due to its ultra lightweight design, you won’t have to register it with the FAA. This leak comes courtesy of Newegg Canada, and from the data gathered, it weighs in at a svelte 249 grams, which puts it right under the 250 grams limit for FAA registration requirements. Read more for a hands-on video and additional information.
Wing, an Alphabet subsidiary, has launched the first commercial drone delivery service in the US. The company is now delivering snacks and health care products to residents of Christiansburg, Virginia, after receiving approval from the government. To make the process go smoothly, they teamed up with major partners such as Federal Express and Walgreens. It’s so easy to use that all it takes is a few taps on smartphones to select items for delivery. Read more for a video and additional information.
Skydio 2 is an autonomous drone that pretty much only lacked one feature, the ability to recharge itself, that is until now. In other words, you won’t have to manually place this drone on a charging dock after 20-30 minutes of flight time, but instead, you’ll be able to survey a disaster zone continuously indefinitely until something goes wrong with the drone itself, and it doesn’t require GPS to find its way back. Read more for a video showing just how this charging dock would work.
Not all 3D printers are created equal, and Prusa Research’s Mini is one designed for all ages. Featuring a build plate area of 180mm x 180mm x 180mm (7-inch x 7-inch x 7 inches), it’s significantly smaller than its predecessor, the Prusa Mk3s, and features auto bed leveling, a removable powder coated PEI sheet, which hold the print firm, and a small, full-color LCD to control your printing, all controlled with the company’s brand new custom 32-bit Buddy mainboard with silent 2209 Trinamic drivers. Read more for two videos, including one showing how to print your very own mini drone.
Photographer Reuben Wu seamlessly blends art and photography into one, with this latest adventure taking him to Bolivia for the on-going Lux Noctis series. To create the surreal geometric shapes that seemingly appear to float in the sky, he uses LED-equipped drones and on this trip, a new $57,000 Phase One XT camera system, which is capable of capturing 150-megapixel shots. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey’s new company, Anduril Industries, Inc., is developing anti-drone tech that smashes them out of the sky. Their main focus currently is Lattice AI, which is software that can be installed in many different devices, such as surveillance towers, camera systems or drones, to enable them to autonomously detect as well as respond to any threats. Whether it be the company’s Sentry Towers, Ghost UAS (a single-rotor patrol drone), or its new Interceptor drone, which is designed to threats out of the air. Read more for a video and additional information.